With so many CRM and Sales Force Automation (SFA) software packages available today, it can be a daunting task to figure out which one is right for your distribution business.
Whether you and your company are brand new to CRM or you’re an experienced user who is unsatisfied with your current product, this guide will help you during your selection and review process. It will cover six important areas to consider when looking at CRM providers and supplies questions to ask when interviewing or reviewing different CRM offerings, in order to ensure that you select the right CRM for distributors and the distribution industry.
Today we will review the 4th area to consider when selecting a CRM solution.
Area 4: Gap Analysis
What’s the importance of Gap Analysis, and how can I determine that the CRM system can provide it effectively?
The distribution business is all about maximizing penetration at existing and new accounts. You may have some of the business but what about the business you are not currently enjoying? How do you put together sales plans for addressing that missing business? How do you develop marketing campaigns to gain additional market share faster?
Gap Analysis is the process of being able to look at customer purchase history and determine what they should be purchasing based on what is currently being purchased. A CRM with Gap Analysis should allow for easy lookup of sales by type & quantity of specific product purchased. For example, the customer has purchased products A and B, but not product C. Your knowledge shows that these customers are great targets for product C.
With Gap Analysis in your CRM you should be able to quickly run a report to “Show me all customers in X territory that have purchased product A & B but not product C in the last 18 months”. With this data you should be able to overlay other criteria for specific marketing campaigns such as “Select all contacts with engineer in their title”. Now you can launch an email campaign from your CRM system targeting all customers that have purchased product A & B but not product C in the last 18 months and send it to all contacts in the database (or territory, or zip code, etc.) with engineer in their title. This is the kind of targeted sales and marketing that a CRM with Gap Analysis will allow you to do.
CRM Interview – Ask these questions to determine if the CRM system provides effective Gap Analysis:
- Can you show me specific examples of your Gap Analysis tools and how they can segment by specific types of products that have been purchased?
- Can you show me how your system can sort all customers who have purchased, for example, products X & Y but not product Z – over some defined period of time?
- Can I directly create an email or direct mail campaign to the specific contacts within these accounts (that meet the product X, Y & Z above) that have a specific job title such Purchasing, Engineer, Manager, or any other job title that we’d like to specify?
- Can you show me how I could run a Gap Analysis for the following scenario?
- I have a specific family of products that are being obsoleted for more current products. How you would sort for all of item codes in that product family and the associated sales history over the last 24 months, so that we could send an e-mail marketing campaign introducing the replacement products with associated information and links to our website to anyone who had purchased from that product family in the last 24 months?
Download the full Guide to Selecting a CRM for your Distribution Business.